From time to time, we open my 2 cents to others... people who don't blog, others in PR or marketing, or students looking to get some exposure and experience. This article is written by Sarah del Rosario of UK Toner Cartridges.
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Marketing techniques spread the word about your brand, while communication techniques refer to how information is distributed within the organization. Both are equally important in business and in 2013 there are techniques which have proven to be more effective than others. Let’s find out which marketing and communication trends did work, and which ones are best left behind in 2013.
Whichever industry you’re in, you would notice how quickly trends catch up, especially when it comes to how business is promoted. One example of a trend which quickly caught on is “Content is king.” When this appeared to be working for many online businesses a few years ago, others quickly followed by hiring freelance web content writers to populate their site with articles, press releases, etc. The problem is that content should have been combined with other elements to make promoting a brand more successful. This phrase still holds true today, but let's focus more on which marketing and communication techniques became trendy last year but are best left forgotten with 2013:
1. Using a buzzword for marketing.
Similar to how content should be king, there are some annoying buzzwords which became big hits in 2013. Authenticity is one example. Although this may apply to some brands – starting from musical groups to supposedly innovative products – there are very few authentic ideas out there. For 2014, it is better to ditch such catchphrases for marketing and simply focus on the strengths of your brand.
2. Focusing on your company, not your prospects.
Whatever happened to putting the focus on customers? Unfortunately for the general consuming public, the marketing efforts of most companies in 2013 veered more towards their image. Instead of focusing on your brand, why not put back the focus on your prospects? Remember that when customers take advantage of a product or service, they always think about what’s in it for them – so realign your marketing campaign in this regard.
3. Selling features over benefits.
The rule of thumb to remember here is simple: customers buy benefits, not features. When coming up with a marketing campaign, make sure to answer the question “What benefit will your product/service bring to me as a customer?” By doing so, you are selling benefits over the features, something which most customers could care less about.
4. Overcomplicating your message.
Whether it’s internal or external communication, resist the temptation to overcomplicate your message. Big words and complex messages become a trend in 2013, which is something that is best left behind now that the New Year is officially here. Overly complex, wordy messages can overpromise or, worse, confuse the receiver of the message. For 2014, less is more. Let's be straightforward and upfront whenever possible.
5. Being device-centric in communication.
Finally, BYOD or Bring Your Own Device was a huge trend for 2013. Although there are some organizations where this perfectly works, the emerging practice for 2014 is to use cloud storage. This means that no matter which smartphone, tablet or any kind of gadget you own, all the data will be stored "in the cloud" where everyone can work in a high-tech, standardized fashion. Seeing the progress on a specific file will keep you updated on what still needs to be done, making things more interactive in the workplace.
Which 2013 marketing and communication trends would you like to see totally forgotten this 2014?